US9564320B2 - Large area nitride crystal and method for making it - Google Patents

Large area nitride crystal and method for making it Download PDF

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US9564320B2
US9564320B2 US13731453 US201213731453A US9564320B2 US 9564320 B2 US9564320 B2 US 9564320B2 US 13731453 US13731453 US 13731453 US 201213731453 A US201213731453 A US 201213731453A US 9564320 B2 US9564320 B2 US 9564320B2
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crystal
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Mark P. D'Evelyn
James S. Speck
Derrick S. Kamber
Douglas W. Pocius
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Soraa Inc
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    • C30B7/00Single-crystal growth from solutions using solvents which are liquid at normal temperature, e.g. aqueous solutions
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    • C30B29/00Single crystals or homogeneous polycrystalline material with defined structure characterised by the material or by their shape
    • C30B29/10Inorganic compounds or compositions
    • C30B29/40AIIIBV compounds wherein A is B, Al, Ga, In or Tl and B is N, P, As, Sb or Bi
    • C30B29/403AIII-nitrides
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    • C30B29/00Single crystals or homogeneous polycrystalline material with defined structure characterised by the material or by their shape
    • C30B29/10Inorganic compounds or compositions
    • C30B29/40AIIIBV compounds wherein A is B, Al, Ga, In or Tl and B is N, P, As, Sb or Bi
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    • C30B29/406Gallium nitride
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    • C30B33/00After-treatment of single crystals or homogeneous polycrystalline material with defined structure
    • C30B33/06Joining of crystals
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    • H01L29/12Semiconductor bodies ; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor characterised by the materials of which they are formed
    • H01L29/20Semiconductor bodies ; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor characterised by the materials of which they are formed including, apart from doping materials or other impurities, only AIIIBV compounds
    • H01L29/2003Nitride compounds

Abstract

Techniques for processing materials in supercritical fluids including processing in a capsule disposed within a high-pressure apparatus enclosure are disclosed. The disclosed techniques are useful for growing crystals of GaN, AlN, InN, and their alloys, including InGaN, AlGaN, and AlInGaN for the manufacture of bulk or patterned substrates, which in turn can be used to make optoelectronic devices, lasers, light emitting diodes, solar cells, photoelectrochemical water splitting and hydrogen generation devices, photodetectors, integrated circuits, and transistors.

Description

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of, and claims priority to U.S. application Ser. No. 13/160,307, filed on Jun. 14, 2011, which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/356,489, filed on Jun. 18, 2010; and to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/386,879, filed on Sep. 27, 2010; each of which is incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.

BACKGROUND

This disclosure relates to techniques for processing materials in supercritical fluids. Embodiments of the disclosure include techniques for material processing in a capsule disposed within a high-pressure apparatus enclosure. The methods can be applied to growing crystals of GaN, AlN, InN, and their alloys, including, for example, InGaN, AlGaN, and AlInGaN, and others for the manufacture of bulk or patterned substrates. Such bulk or patterned substrates can be used for a variety of applications including optoelectronic devices, lasers, light emitting diodes, solar cells, photoelectrochemical water splitting and hydrogen generation devices, photodetectors, integrated circuits, and transistors, among other devices.

Large area, high quality crystals and substrates, for example, nitride crystals and substrates, are needed for a variety of applications, including light emitting diodes, laser diodes, transistors, and photodetectors. In general, there is an economy of scale with device processing, such that the cost per device is reduced as the diameter of the substrate is increased. In addition, large area seed crystals are needed for bulk nitride crystal growth.

There are known methods for fabrication of large area gallium nitride (GaN) crystals with a (0 0 0 1) c-plane orientation. In many cases, hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE) is used to deposit thick layers of gallium nitride on a non-gallium-nitride substrate such as sapphire, followed by the removal of the substrate. These methods have demonstrated capability for producing free-standing c-plane GaN wafers 50-75 millimeters in diameter, and it is expected that GaN wafers with diameters as large as 100 millimeter can be produced. The typical average dislocation density, however, in these crystals, about 106-108 cm−2, is too high for many applications. Techniques have been developed to gather the dislocations into bundles or low-angle grain boundaries, but it is still very difficult to produce dislocation densities below 104 cm−2 in a large area single grain by these methods, and the relatively high concentration of high-dislocation-density bundles or grain boundaries creates difficulties such as performance degradation and/or yield losses for the device manufacturer.

The non-polar planes of gallium nitride, such as {1 0 −1 0} and {1 1 −2 0}, and the semi-polar planes of gallium nitride, such as {1 0 −1 ±1}, {1 0 −1 ±2}, {1 0 −1 ±3}, and {1 1 −2 ±2}, {2 0 −2 1} are attractive for a number of applications. Unfortunately, no large area, high quality non-polar or semi-polar GaN wafers are generally available for large scale commercial applications. Other conventional methods for growing very high quality GaN crystals, for example, with a dislocation density less than 104 cm−2 have been proposed. These crystals, however, are typically small, less than 1 −5 centimeters in diameter, and are not commercially available.

Legacy techniques have suggested a method for merging elementary GaN seed crystals into a larger compound crystal by a tiling method. Some of the legacy methods use elementary GaN seed crystals grown by hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE) and polishing the edges of the elementary crystals at oblique angles to cause merger in fast-growing directions. Such legacy techniques, however, have limitations. For example, legacy techniques do not specify the accuracy of the crystallographic orientation between the merged elementary seed crystals they provide a method capable of producing highly accurate crystallographic registry between the elementary seed crystals and the observed defects resulting from the merging of the elementary seed crystals.

Conventional techniques are inadequate for at least the reason of failing to meaningfully increase the available size of high-quality nitride crystals while maintaining extremely accurate crystallographic orientation across the crystals.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

This disclosure provides a method for growth of a large-area, gallium-containing nitride crystal. The method includes providing at least two nitride crystals having a dislocation density below about 107 cm−2 together with a handle substrate. The nitride crystals are bonded to the handle substrate. Then, the nitride crystals are grown to coalescence into a merged nitride crystal. The polar misorientation angle γ between the first nitride crystal and the second nitride crystal is greater than about 0.005 degree and less than about 0.5 degree and the azimuthal misorientation angles α and β are greater than about 0.01 degree and less than about 1 degree. A semiconductor structure can be formed on the nitride crystals as desired.

In another embodiment, the disclosure includes the steps above, and also includes methods of providing a release layer and a high quality epitaxial layer on each of the two nitride crystals. The epitaxial layers are grown to cause coalescence of the two nitride crystals into a merged nitride crystal. The polar misorientation angle γ between the first nitride crystal and the second nitride crystal is less than 0.5 degree and azimuthal misorientation angles α and β are less than 1 degree.

The disclosed methods can provide a crystal that includes at least two single crystal domains having a nitride composition and characterized by a dislocation density within each of the domains of less than 107 cm−2. Each of the at least two single crystal domains is separated by a line of dislocations with a linear density greater than 50 cm−1 and less than 5×105 cm−1. The polar misorientation angle γ between the first domain and the second domain is less than 0.5 degree and the azimuthal misorientation angles α and β are less than 1 degree.

In a first aspect, crystals comprising at least two single crystal domains having a nitride composition are disclosed comprising: a first domain having a first thickness, a first lateral dimension, and a second lateral dimension, wherein the first lateral dimension and the second lateral dimension define a plane that is perpendicular to the first thickness, and each of the first lateral dimension and the second lateral dimension is greater than about 2 millimeters; and a second domain having a second thickness, a third lateral dimension and a fourth lateral dimension, wherein the third lateral dimension and the fourth later dimension define a plane that is perpendicular to the second thickness, wherein each of the third lateral dimension and the fourth lateral dimension is greater than about 2 millimeters; wherein each of the at least two single crystal domains are characterized by a dislocation density of less than 107 cm−2, are separated by a line of dislocations with a linear density between about 50 cm−1 and about 5×105 cm−1, and a polar misorientation angle γ between the first domain and the second domain is greater than about 0.005 degrees and less than about 0.5 degrees and misorientation angles α and β are greater than about 0.01 degrees and less than about 1 degree.

In a second aspect, method of fabricating a crystal are disclosed, comprising: providing at least two crystals, each of the at least two crystals characterized by a dislocation density below about 107 cm−2; providing a handled substrate; bonding the at least two crystals to the handle substrate; and growing the at least two crystals to cause a coalescence into a merged crystal; wherein the merged crystal comprises a first domain and a second domain characterized by a polar misorientation angle γ between the first domain and the second domain is greater than about 0.005 degrees and less than about 0.5 degrees and the misorientation angles α and β between the first domain and the second domain are greater than about 0.01 degrees and less than about 1 degree.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 1G, 1H, 1I, 1J, and 1K are diagrams illustrating methods for bonding crystals.

FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating the crystallographic misorientation between two adjacent wafer-bonded crystals.

FIGS. 3A, 3B, 3C, and 3D are diagrams illustrating arrangements of tiled crystals.

FIGS. 4A, 4B, 5, and 6 are diagrams illustrating a method for coalescing wafer-bonded crystals.

FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7C, and 7D are diagrams illustrating arrangements of merged crystals.

FIGS. 8, 9, and 10 are diagrams illustrating lateral growth from a seed crystal.

FIG. 11 is a flow chart of a method for making crystals according to some embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 1A, a crystal 101 having a first surface 105 is provided. Herein discussed is a crystal, referred to as crystal 101 as a “nitride crystal”, as nitride crystals with a wurtzite crystal structure, which crystal and crystal structure is discussed in detail for a particular set of embodiments. The method disclosed also uses the term “nitride crystal”, which includes non-nitride crystals and nitride crystals. Examples of non-nitride crystals include diamond, cubic boron nitride, boron carbide, silicon, silicon carbide, germanium, silicon germanium, indium phosphide, gallium phosphide, zinc oxide, zinc selenide, gallium arsenide, cadmium telluride, and cadmium zinc telluride. In certain embodiments, nitride crystal 101 comprises GaN or AlxInyGa(1-x-y)N, where 0≦x and y≦1 and is characterized a very high crystallographic quality. In another embodiment, crystal 101 has a wurtzite crystal structure and is selected from ZnO, ZnS, AgI, CdS, CdSe, 2H—SiC, 4H—SiC, and 6H—SiC. Nitride crystal 101 preferably has a surface dislocation density less than about 107 cm−2, 106 cm−2, 105 cm−2, 104 cm−2, 103 cm−2, or in certain embodiments, less than about 102 cm2. Nitride crystal 101 also preferably has a stacking-fault concentration below 104, below 103 cm−1, 102 cm−1, 10 cm−1, or in certain embodiments, below 1 cm−1. Nitride crystal 101 also has a symmetric x-ray rocking curve full width at half maximum (FWHM) less than about 300 arc sec, 200 arc sec, 100 arc sec, 50 arc sec, 35 arc sec, 25 arc sec, or in certain embodiments less than about 15 arc sec. Nitride crystal 101 has a crystallographic radius of curvature greater than 0.1 meter, 1 meter, 10 meters, 100 meters, or in certain embodiments, greater than 1000 meters, in up to three independent or orthogonal directions.

Nitride crystal 101 may comprise regions characterized by a relatively high concentration of threading dislocations separated by one or more regions characterized by a relatively low concentration of threading dislocations. The concentration of threading dislocations in the relatively high concentration regions may be greater than about 106 cm−2, 107 cm−2, or in certain embodiments, greater than about 108 cm−2. The concentration of threading dislocations in the relatively low concentration regions may be less than about 106 cm−2, 105 cm−2, or in certain embodiments, less than about 104 cm−2. The thickness of nitride crystal 101 may be between about 10 microns and about 100 millimeters, or in certain embodiments, between about 0.1 millimeter and about 10 millimeters. Crystal 101 may have a first lateral dimension and a second lateral dimension, the lateral dimensions defining a plane that is perpendicular to the thickness of the nitride crystal 101, where each of the first lateral dimension and the second lateral dimension may be at least about 0.5 millimeter, 1 millimeter, 2 millimeters, 4 millimeters, 5 millimeters, 10 millimeters, 15 millimeters, 20 millimeters, 25 millimeters, 35 millimeters, 50 millimeters, 75 millimeters, 100 millimeters, 150 millimeters, or in certain embodiments, at least about 200 millimeters. Surface 105 may be characterized by a crystallographic orientation within 5 degrees, within 2 degrees, within 1 degree, within 0.5 degree, within 0.2 degree, within 0.1 degree, within 0.05 degree, within 0.02 degree, or in certain embodiments, within about 0.01 degree of the (0 0 0 1) Ga-polar plane, the (0 0 0 −1) N-polar plane, the {1 0 −1 0} non-polar plane, or the {1 1 −2 0} non-polar a-plane. Surface 105 may be characterized by a (h k i l) semi-polar orientation, where i=−(h+k) and/and at least one of h and k are nonzero.

In certain embodiments, the crystallographic orientation of surface 105 is within 5 degrees, 2 degrees, 1 degree, 0.5 degree, 0.2 degree, 0.1 degree, 0.05 degree, 0.02 degree, or in certain embodiments, within 0.01 degree of any one of the {1 1 −2 ±2} plane, the {6 0 −6 ±1} plane, the {5 0 −5 ±1} plane, the {40 −4 ±1} plane, the {3 0 −3 ±1} plane, the {5 0 −5 ±2} plane, the {7 0 −7 ±3} plane, the {2 0 −2 ±1} plane, the {3 0 −3 ±2} plane, the {4 0 −4 ±3} plane, the {5 0 −5 ±4} plane, the {1 0 −1 ±1} plane, the {1 0 −1 ±2} plane, the {1 0 −1 ±3} plane, the {2 1 −3 ±1} plane, or the {3 0 −3 ±4} plane. Nitride crystal 101 may have a minimum lateral dimension of at least two millimeters, but it can be four millimeters, one centimeter, two centimeters, three centimeters, four centimeters, five centimeters, six centimeters, eight centimeters, or in certain embodiments at least ten centimeters. In other embodiments, crystal 101 is characterized by a cubic crystal structure. In some embodiments, crystal 101 has a cubic diamond structure and is selected from diamond, silicon, germanium, and silicon germanium. In other embodiments, crystal 101 is characterized by a cubic zincblende structure and is selected from cubic BN, BP, BAs, AlP, AlAs, AlSb, β-SiC, GaP, GaAs, GaSb, InP, InAs, ZnS, ZnSe, CdS, CdSe, CdTe, CdZeTe, and HgCdTe. In certain embodiments, the crystallographic orientation of surface 105 is within 5 degrees, 2 degrees, 1 degree, 0.5 degree, 0.2 degree, 0.1 degree, 0.05 degree, 0.02 degree, or in certain embodiments within 0.01 degree of one of the {1 1 1} plane, the {1 1 0} plane, the {1 0 0} plane, the {3 1 1} plane, and the {2 1 1} plane.

In some embodiments, nitride crystal 101 is grown by hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE) according to known methods. In other embodiments, nitride crystal 101 is grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) or metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). Nitride crystal 101 may be grown on a heteroepitaxial substrate such as sapphire, silicon carbide, or gallium arsenide. In some embodiments, nitride crystal 101 is grown by a flux or high temperature solution method. In one specific embodiment, nitride crystal 101 is grown in a solution comprising gallium metal at a temperature between about 1,400 degrees Celsius and about 1,600 degrees Celsius and a nitrogen pressure between about 10 kbar and about 30 kbar. In some embodiments, nitride crystal 101 is grown ammonothermally. In certain embodiments, nitride crystal 101 is characterized by an atomic impurity concentration of hydrogen (H) greater than about 1×1016 cm−3, greater than about 1×1017 cm−3, or greater than about 1×1018 cm−3. In certain embodiments, a ratio of the atomic impurity concentration of H to an atomic impurity concentration of oxygen (O) is between about 1.1 and about 1000, or between about 5 and about 100. In some embodiments, nitride crystal 101 is characterized by an impurity concentration greater than about 1015 cm−1 of at least one of Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs, Mg, Ca, F, and Cl. In some embodiments, nitride crystal 101 is characterized by an impurity concentration greater than about 1014 cm−1 of at least one of Be, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba, Sc, Y, a rare earth element, Ti, Zr, Hf, V, Nb, Ta, Cr, Mo, and W. In certain embodiments, nitride crystal 101 is characterized by an impurity concentration of O, H, carbon (C), Na, and K between about 1×1016 cm−3 and 1×1019 cm−3, between about 1×1016 cm−3 and 2×1019 cm−3, below 1×1017 cm−3, below 1×1016 cm−3, and below 1×1016 cm−3, respectively, as quantified by calibrated secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). In another embodiment, nitride crystal 101 is characterized by an impurity concentration of O, H, C, and at least one of Na and K between about 1×1016 cm−3 and 1×1019 cm−3, between about 1×1016 cm−3 and 2×1019 cm−3, below 1×1017 cm−3, and between about 3×1015 cm−3 and 1×1018 cm−3, respectively, as quantified by calibrated secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). In still another embodiment, nitride crystal 101 his characterized by an impurity concentration of O, H, C, and at least one of F and Cl between about 1×1016 cm−3 and 1×1019 cm−3, between about 1×1016 cm−3 and 2×1019 cm−3, below 1×1017 cm−3, and between about 1×1015 cm−3 and 1×1017 cm−3, respectively, as quantified by calibrated secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). In some embodiments, nitride crystal 101 is characterized by an impurity concentration of H between about 5×1017 cm−3 and 1×1019 cm−3, as quantified by calibrated secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). In certain embodiments, nitride crystal 101 is characterized by an impurity concentration of copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), and iron (Fe) between about 1×1016 cm−3 and 1×1019 cm−3.

One of the steps in the preparation of nitride crystal 101 can be lateral growth from a seed crystal. Referring to FIG. 8, in certain embodiments a bar-shaped c-plane seed crystal 330 having two a-plane-oriented edges is provided. Ammonothermal growth may be performed, using conditions that favor rapid growth in the a-direction, to produce laterally-grown wings (e.g., wing 340 and wing 350). As shown in FIG. 9, the laterally-grown wings 440 and 450 may be separated from the seed crystal, producing crystals 430 with a shape approximating a half-rhombus. Referring to FIG. 10, in certain embodiments a bar-shaped m-plane seed crystal 780 having +c and −c-plane-oriented edges is provided. Ammonothermal growth may be performed, using conditions that favor rapid growth in the +c- and/or −c-directions, producing laterally-grown crystal 790. If desired, the laterally-grown wings may be separated.

In certain embodiments, nitride crystal 101 may be substantially free of stacking faults. The concentrations of threading dislocations and stacking faults can be quantified on polar (±c-plane) and nonpolar (e.g., m-plane) and a range of semipolar planes, on both HVPE GaN and ammonothermal GaN, by etching in a molten salt comprising one or more of NaOH and KOH, or in a solution comprising one or more of H3PO4 and H3PO4 that has been conditioned by prolonged heat treatment to form polyphosphoric acid, and H2SO4, at temperatures between about 100 degrees Celsius and about 500 degrees Celsius for times between about 5 minutes and about 5 hours; where the processing temperature and time are selected so as to cause formation of etch pits with diameters between about 1 micrometer and about 25 micrometers. Large area nonpolar and semipolar nitride crystals that are substantially free of stacking faults, that is, where the stacking fault concentration is below about 103 cm−1, below about 102 cm−1, below about 10 cm−1, or below about 1 cm−1, may be prepared by extended ammonothermal lateral growth from a seed crystal to form a wing or sector followed by separation of the laterally-grown wing or sector from the seed and removal of residual defective material from the laterally-grown wing or sector.

Referring again to FIG. 1A, in some embodiments, the conditions for the final growth step of crystal 101 are chosen so that the crystal grows to the nominal orientation and is highly flat. For example, the growth condition may be chosen so that the growth rates in directions parallel to surface 105 are greater, by at least a factor of 2, a factor of 5, a factor of 10, a factor of 20, or a factor of 50, than the growth rate perpendicular to surface 105. Establishing an on-axis orientation by direct growth may be particularly advantageous when surface 105 has an orientation selected from the (0 0 0 1) Ga-polar plane, the (0 0 0 −1) N-polar plane, the {1 0 −1 0} non-polar plane, and the {1 0 −1 ±1} semi-polar plane. Additional steps in the preparation of nitride crystal 101 and of surface 105 may include grinding, dicing, sawing, lapping, polishing, dry etching, and chemical mechanical polishing. Surface 105 may be optically flat, with a deviation from flatness less than 1 micron, 0.5 micron, 0.2 micron, 0.1 micron, or in certain embodiments less than 0.05 micron. Surface 105 may be smooth, with a root-mean-square roughness less than 5 nanometers, 2 nanometers, 1 nanometer, 0.5 nanometers, 0.2 nanometer, 0.1 nanometer, or in certain embodiments less than 0.05 nanometer, measured over an area of at least 10 microns×10 microns.

In some embodiments, at least one edge, at least two edges, or at least three edges of nitride crystal 101 are as-grown. In some embodiments, at least one edge, at least two edges, or at least three edges of nitride crystal 101 are cleaved. In some embodiments, at least one edge, at least two edges, or at least three edges of nitride crystal 101 are diced, sawed, ground, lapped, polished, and/or etched, for example, by reactive ion etching (RIE) or inductively-coupled plasma (ICP). In one specific embodiment, one or more edges of the surface of crystal 101 are defined by etching one or more trenches in a larger crystal. In some embodiments, at least one edge, at least two edges, or at least three edges of nitride crystal 101 have a {1 0 −1 0} m-plane orientation. In one specific embodiment, nitride crystal 101 has a substantially hexagonal shape. In another specific embodiment, nitride crystal 101 has a substantially rhombus or half-rhombus shape. In still other embodiments, nitride crystal 101 is substantially rectangular. In one specific embodiment, nitride crystal 101 has a (0 0 0 1) +c-plane edge and a (0 0 0 −1) −c-plane edge. In another specific embodiment, nitride crystal 101 has two {1 1 −2 0} edges. In yet another specific embodiment, nitride crystal 101 has two {1 0 −1 0} edges. In still another specific embodiment, crystal 101 has a cubic crystal structure and at least one edge, at least two edges, or at least three edges have a {111} orientation. In yet another, specific embodiment, crystal 101 has a cubic zincblende crystal structure and at least one edge, at least two edges, or at least three edges have a {110} orientation.

Referring to FIG. 1A, in one set of embodiments, surface 105 of nitride crystal 101 is implanted with ions, forming an implanted/damaged region 103 according to methods that are known in the art. The ion implantation may be performed with at least one of H+, H2 +, He+, Ne+, Ar+, Kr+, Xe+, N+, and N2 +. The implantation energy can be between about 10 keV and about 1 MeV, or in certain embodiments, between about 20 keV and about 200 keV. The ion fluence or dose may be between about 1016 cm−2 and about 1019 cm−2, between about 1017 cm−2 and about 1018 cm−2, or between about 2×1017 cm−2 and about 4×1017 cm−2. In some embodiments, the back side of crystal 101 is also implanted with ions, forming a second implanted/damaged region (not shown), with a similar ion composition, energy, and fluence, so as to minimize bow in crystal 101.

Referring to FIG. 1B, in some embodiments a release layer 107 is provided. In some embodiments, release layer 107 is characterized by an optical absorption coefficient greater than 1,000 cm−1 at least one wavelength where nitride crystal 101 having surface 105 is substantially transparent, for example, where nitride crystal 101 is characterized by an optical absorption coefficient less than 50 cm−1. In some embodiments, the release layer is characterized by an optical absorption coefficient greater than 5,000 cm−1 at least one wavelength where nitride crystal 101 is substantially transparent. In some embodiments, release layer 107 can be selectively wet etched, electrochemically etched, or photoelectrochemically etched preferentially with respect to crystal 101 and with respect to high quality epitaxial layer 109 overlying release layer 107. In some embodiments, the release layer comprises AlxInyGa1-x-yN, where 0≦x, y, x+y≦1. In some embodiments the release layer further comprises at least one impurity to render the release layer strongly absorbing at some wavelengths. A number of dopant impurities, including H, O, C, Mn, Fe, and Co, may render an AlxInyGa1-x-yN or GaN crystal absorbing at visible wavelengths. Heavy doping with cobalt, in particular, can render GaN black, that is, with a high optical absorption coefficient across the visible spectrum. In particular, the optical absorption coefficient may be greater than 5,000 cm−1 across the entire visible spectrum, including the range between about 465 nm and about 700 nm. The optical absorption coefficient may also be greater than 5,000 cm−1 between about 700 nm and about 3,077 nm and at wavelengths between about 3,333 nm and about 6,667 nm. Incorporation of In can decrease the bandgap of GaN, leading to strong absorption at wavelengths where GaN or AlGaN is substantially transparent. However, the InGaN has inferior temperature stability and a larger lattice mismatch with respect to GaN or AlGaN than does heavily-doped GaN or AlGaN. Release layer 107 may be deposited epitaxially on nitride crystal 101 by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE), molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), ammonothermal growth, or flux growth, as described in U.S. Pat. No. 8,148,801, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.

In certain embodiments, the release layer 107 comprises nitrogen and at least one element selected from Si, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, a rare earth element, Hf, Ta, and W. A metal layer may be deposited on the base crystal, to a thickness between about 1 nm and about 1 micron by sputtering, thermal evaporation, e-beam evaporation, or the like. The metal layer may then be nitrided by heating in a nitrogen-containing atmosphere such as ammonia at a temperature between about 600 degrees Celsius and about 1,200 degrees Celsius. During the nitridation process the metal partially de-wets from the base crystal, creating nano-to-micro openings through which high quality epitaxy can take place. The nitridation step may be performed in an MOCVD reactor, in an HVPE reactor, or in an ammonothermal reactor immediately prior to deposition of a high quality epitaxial layer.

In certain embodiments, the release layer 107 comprises AlxInyGa1-x-yN, where 0≦x, y, x+y≦1, but may not have an optical absorption coefficient larger than that of nitride crystal 101. In a particular embodiment, nitride crystal 101 comprises GaN and release layer 107 comprises Al1-xInxN, where x is approximately equal to 0.17 so that the release layer is lattice-matched to nitride crystal 101, also known as the nitride base crystal.

Referring to FIG. 1B, a high quality epitaxial layer 109 may be provided overlying release layer 107. In some embodiments, the high quality epitaxial layer 109 is grown in a separate step, by MOCVD, by MBE, or by HVPE, after deposition of the release layer. In another embodiment, the high quality epitaxial layer is grown ammonothermally. The high quality epitaxial layer 109 may have a thickness between about 0.05 micron and about 500 microns. In some embodiments, the thickness of the high quality epitaxial layer is between about one micron and about 50 microns.

The high quality epitaxial layer 109 has the same crystallographic orientation as nitride crystal 101, to within about 0.5 degree, within 0.2 degree, within 0.1 degree, within 0.05 degree, within 0.02 degree, or within 0.01 degree, and very similar crystallographic properties. High quality epitaxial layer 109 may be between 0.1 micron and 50 microns thick, comprises nitrogen and may have a surface dislocation density below 107 cm−2. In particular embodiments, high quality epitaxial layer 109 comprises GaN or AlxInyGa(1-x-y)N, where 0≦x, y≦1 and is characterized by high crystallographic quality. High quality epitaxial layer 109 may be characterized by a surface dislocation density less than about 107 cm−2, less than about 106 cm−2, less than about 105 cm−2, less than about 104 cm−2, less than about 103 cm2, or less than about 102 cm−2. High quality epitaxial layer 109 may be characterized by a stacking-fault concentration below 103 cm−1, below 102 cm−1, below 10 cm−1 or below 1 cm−1. High quality epitaxial layer 109 may be characterized by a symmetric x-ray rocking curve full width at half maximum (FWHM) less than about 300 arc sec, less than about 200 arc sec, less than about 100 arc sec, less than about 50 arc sec, less than about 35 arc sec, less than about 25 arc sec, or less than about 15 arc sec. In some embodiments, the high quality epitaxial layer is substantially transparent, with an optical absorption coefficient below 100 cm−1, below 50 cm−1, below 5 cm−1, or below 1 cm−1 at wavelengths between about 700 nm and about 3,077 nm and at wavelengths between about 3,333 nm and about 6,667 nm. In some embodiments, the high quality epitaxial layer is substantially free of low angle grain boundaries, or tilt boundaries. In other embodiments, the high quality epitaxial layer comprises at least two tilt boundaries, with the separation between adjacent tilt boundaries not less than 3 mm. The high quality epitaxial layer may have impurity concentrations of O, H, C, Na, and K below 1×1017 cm−3, 2×1017 cm−3, 1×1017 cm−3, 1×1016 cm−3, and 1×1016 cm−3, respectively, as quantified by calibrated secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), glow discharge mass spectrometry (GDMS), interstitial gas analysis (IGA), or the like.

Referring again to FIG. 1B, the process of depositing a release layer 107 and a high quality epitaxial layer 109 may be repeated at least one, at least two, at least four, at least eight, or at least sixteen times. In certain embodiments the high quality epitaxial layers comprise GaN and the release layers comprise lattice-matched Al0.83In0.17N. In certain embodiments the roles are reversed, and the release layers comprise GaN and the high quality epitaxial layers comprise lattice-matched Al0.83In0.17N. The outermost surface 111 of the one or more high quality epitaxial layers has the same crystallographic orientation as surface 105.

Referring to FIG. 1C, in some embodiments a series of channels 110 are provided through surface 111 of a high quality epitaxial layer 109 and a release layer 107 overlying nitride crystal 101. A pattern, for example, a series of stripes, may be defined by conventional photolithography. Channels 110 may be etched by reactive ion etching (RIE), inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) etching, ion bombardment, or the like. In some embodiments the channels 110 are etched through only a single high quality epitaxial layer. A channel may or may not cut through the outermost release layer, but a release layer is exposed in each channel. In other embodiments the channels are cut through two or more high quality epitaxial layers. The spacing between adjacent channels may be, for example, between about 10 microns and about 10 millimeters, or between about 0.1 millimeter and 1 millimeter.

Referring to FIG. 1D, in some embodiments, nitride crystal 101 is affixed to block 112. Block 112 may comprise stainless steel, steel, an iron-based alloy, a nickel-based alloy, a cobalt-based alloy, a copper-based alloy, or the like. Block 112 may have edges that are machined or accurately ground. For example, at least two parallel faces on block 112 may be parallel to within 1 degree, within 0.5 degree, within 0.2 degree, within 0.1 degree, within 0.05 degree, within 0.02 degree, or to within 0.01 degree. At least two perpendicular faces on block 112 may be perpendicular to within 1 degree, within 0.5 degree, within 0.2 degree, within 0.1 degree, within 0.05 degree, within 0.02 degree, or to within 0.01 degree. Nitride crystal 101 may be affixed to block 112 by means of a cement, an epoxy, an adhesive, an Au—Sn eutectic, a solder bond, a braze joint, a polymer-based cement, or the like. One or more edges of nitride crystal 101 may also be accurately ground. At least one edge of nitride crystal 101 may be co-planar with an edge of block 112. In some embodiments, at least two edges of crystal 101 are co-planar with edges of block 112. In certain embodiments, nitride crystal 101 with implanted/damaged region 103 and overlying crystal surface 105 are affixed to block 112. In certain embodiments, nitride crystal 101, having release layer 107 and overlying high quality epitaxial layer 109 with crystal surface 111 are affixed to block 112.

Referring to FIGS. 1E and 1F, a handle substrate 117 having a surface 115 is provided. Handle substrate 117 may comprise a single crystal, a polycrystalline material, or an amorphous material. Handle substrate 117 may comprise, for example, sapphire, aluminum oxide, mullite, silicon, silicon nitride, germanium, gallium arsenide, silicon carbide, MgAl2O4 spinel, zinc oxide, indium phosphide, gallium nitride, indium nitride, gallium aluminum indium nitride, or aluminum nitride. Handle substrate 117 may comprise substantially the same composition as crystal 101. In one specific embodiment, handle substrate 117 comprises crystals that have been merged or tiled together using methods other than those provided by the present disclosure. For example, handle substrate 117 may be formed using at least one of the tiling methods disclosed by Dwilinski et al., U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2008/0156254 or the method disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/635,645, filed on Dec. 10, 2009, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety. In a particular embodiment, handle substrate 117 comprises substantially the same composition as crystal 101 and has a crystallographic orientation within about 10 degrees, within about 5 degrees, within about 2 degrees, or within about 1 degree of that of crystal 101. Handle substrate 117 may comprise a glass. Handle substrate 117 may comprise an oxide, nitride, or oxynitride of at least one of Si, Ge, Sn, Pb, B, Al, Ga, In, Tl, P, As, Sb, Pb, Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba, Y, Ti, Zr, Hf, Mn, Zn, and Cd. In one specific embodiment, handle substrate 117 comprises borophosphosilicate glass. Handle substrate 117 may be characterized by a thermal expansion coefficient parallel to surface 115 between room temperature and about 700 degrees Celsius that is between about 2.5×10−6 K−1 and about 7×10−6 K−1. Handle substrate 117 may have a thermal expansion coefficient parallel to surface 115 between room temperature and about 700 degrees Celsius that is between about 5.5×10−6 K−1 and about 6.5×10−6 K−1. Handle substrate 117 may have a softening point, that is, where the viscosity has a value of about 108 Poise, at a temperature between about 500 degrees Celsius and about 1400 degrees Celsius. Handle substrate 117 may have a glass transition temperature between about 600 degrees Celsius and about 1200 degrees Celsius. Handle substrate 117 may have a softening point, that is, where its viscosity is characterized by a value of about 108 Poise, at a temperature between about 600 degrees Celsius and about 900 degrees Celsius. Handle substrate surface 115 may be optically flat, with a deviation from flatness less than 1 micron, less than 0.5 micron, less than 0.2 micron, less than 0.1 micron, or less than 0.05 micron. Handle substrate surface 115 may be smooth, with a root-mean-square roughness less than 5 nanometers, less than 2 nanometers, less than 1 nanometer, less than 0.5 nanometer, less than 0.2 nanometer, less than 0.1 nanometer, or less than 0.05 nanometer, measured over an area of at least 10 microns×10 microns.

An adhesion layer 113 may be deposited on surface 115 of handle substrate 117. Adhesion layer 113 may comprise at least one of SiO2, GeO2, SiNx, AlNx, or B, Al, Si, P, Zn, Ga, Si, Ge, Au, Ag, Ni, Ti, Cr, Zn, Cd, In, Sn, Sb, Tl, W, In, Cu, or Pb, or an oxide, nitride, or oxynitride thereof. Adhesion layer 113 may further comprise hydrogen. The adhesion layer 113 may be deposited by thermal evaporation, electron-beam evaporation, sputtering, chemical vapor deposition, plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, electroplating, or the like, or by thermal oxidation of a deposited metallic film. The thickness of adhesion layer 113 may, for example, between about 1 nanometer and about 10 microns, or between about 10 nanometers and about 1 micron. Adhesion layer 113 may comprise a non-homogenous composition. In some embodiments, adhesion layer 113 comprises a stack of thin films of varying compositions or a film of graded or continuously-varying composition. In some embodiments, adhesion layer 113 or at least one thin film contained within adhesion layer 113 is laterally non-uniform. In some embodiments, adhesion layer 113 or at least one thin film contained within comprises an array of dots, squares, rectangle, lines, a grid pattern, or the like. The composition of adhesion layer 113 may be chosen so as to undergo nascent melting at a temperature below about 300 degrees Celsius, below about 400 degrees Celsius, or below about 500 degrees Celsius. The composition of adhesion layer 113 may be chosen so as to have a melting point above about 600 degrees Celsius, above about 700 degrees Celsius, above about 800 degrees Celsius, or above about 900 degrees Celsius. The composition and structure of adhesion layer 113 may be chosen so as to undergo nascent melting at a temperature below about 300 degrees Celsius, below about 400 degrees Celsius, below about 500 degrees Celsius, or below about 600 degrees Celsius, then, following a thermal treatment at a temperature below the solidus temperature, to remain unmelted, or with a volume fraction of melt below about 20%, below about 10%, or below about 5%, at a temperature above about 600 degrees Celsius, above about 700 degrees Celsius, above about 800 degrees Celsius, or above about 900 degrees Celsius. In some embodiments, an adhesion layer is deposited on surface 105 of nitride crystal 101 or on surface 111 of high quality epitaxial layer 109 (not shown). The adhesion layer(s) may be annealed, for example, to a temperature between about 300 degrees Celsius and about 1,000 degrees Celsius. In some embodiments, an adhesion layer is deposited on surface 105 of crystal 101 and annealed prior to forming an implanted/damaged layer by ion implantation. In some embodiments, at least one adhesion layer is chemical-mechanically polished. In a particular embodiment, the root-mean-square surface roughness of at least one adhesion layer may be below about 0.5 nanometer, or below about 0.3 nanometer over a 20×20 μm2 area. As shown in FIG. 1E, nitride crystal 101 having surface 105 and implanted/damaged region 103 may be affixed to adhesion layer 113 overlying handle substrate 117.

Referring to FIGS. 1E and 1F, surface 105 or 111 of nitride crystal 101, surface 111 of high quality epitaxial layer 109 overlying release layer 107, or an adhesion layer placed thereupon, may be placed in contact with adhesion layer 113 and/or with the surface 115 of the handle substrate 117 and bonded. In one specific embodiment, the bonding comprises wafer bonding. In another specific embodiment, the bonding comprises a eutectic die attach or die bonding operation. In a particular embodiment, the bonding operation is performed in a clean room, with less than 10,000, less than 1,000, less than 100, or less than 10 particles per cubic centimeter in the air. Particles may be removed from at least one of the surfaces immediately prior to bonding by spraying, brushing, or rinsing with ionized nitrogen, a CO2 jet, CO2 snow, high-resistivity water, an organic solvent, such as methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, acetone, or the like. In some embodiments, surface 111 of high quality epitaxial layer 109, or the surface of an adhesion layer placed thereupon, and corresponding surfaces are brought into contact while immersed in a liquid. Optionally, at least one of the surfaces is exposed to a plasma to enhance bonding.

The positional and orientational accuracy of the placement of nitride crystal 101 with respect to handle substrate 117 may be precisely controlled. In one specific embodiment, nitride crystal is placed on handle substrate 117 by a pick and place machine, or robot, or a die attach tool. Nitride crystal 101 may be picked up by a vacuum chuck, translated to the desired position above handle substrate 117 by a stepper-motor-driven x-y stage, re-oriented, if necessary, by a digital-camera-driven rotational drive, and lowered onto the handle substrate. The positional accuracy of placement may be better than 50 microns, better than 30 microns, better than 20 microns, better than 10 microns, or better than 5 microns. The orientational accuracy of placement may be better than 5 degrees, better than 2 degrees, better than 1 degree, better than 0.5 degree, better than 0.2 degree, better than 0.1 degree, better than 0.05 degree, better than 0.02 degree, or better than 0.01 degree. In another specific embodiment, block 112, attached to nitride crystal 101, is placed in a kinematic mount. The kinematic mount establishes orientational accuracy with respect to handle substrate 117 that is better than 1 degree, better than 0.5 degree, better than 0.2 degree, better than 0.1 degree, better than 0.05 degree, better than 0.02 degree, or better than 0.01 degree. Nitride crystal 101, block 112, and the kinematic mount may then be positioned with respect to handle substrate 117 with submicron accuracy using an x-y stage similar to that in a stepper photolithography tool, using stepper motors in conjunction with voice coils. In some embodiments, the azimuthal crystallographic orientations of crystal 101 and handle substrate 117 are equivalent to within about 10 degrees, within about 5 degrees, within about 2 degrees, or within about 1 degree.

Nitride crystal 101 may be pressed against handle substrate 117 with a pressure between about 0.001 megapascals and about 100 megapascals. In some embodiments, van der Waals forces or capillarity associated with nascent melting of the adhesion layer(s) are sufficient to obtain a good bond and very little or no additional applied force is necessary. Nitride crystal 101 and handle substrate 117 may be heated to a temperature between about 30 degrees Celsius and about 950 degrees Celsius, between about 30 degrees Celsius and about 400 degrees Celsius, between about 30 degrees Celsius and about 200 degrees Celsius to strengthen the bond. In some embodiments, heating of nitride crystal 101 and handle substrate 117 is performed while they are placed in mechanical contact and/or mechanically loaded against one another.

In some embodiments, at least the surface region of bonded nitride crystal 101 having implanted/damaged region 103 and handle substrate 117 are heated to a temperature between about 200 degrees Celsius and about 800 degrees Celsius or between about 500 degrees Celsius and about 700 degrees Celsius to cause micro-bubbles, micro-cracks, micro-blisters, or other mechanical flaws within region 103. In one specific embodiment, surface 105 or high quality epitaxial layer 109 is heated by means of optical or infrared radiation through handle substrate 117, and the distal portion of crystal 101, which may be in contact with block 112 (not shown), may remain less than about 300 degrees Celsius, less than about 200 degrees Celsius, or less than about 100 degrees Celsius. In some embodiments, mechanical energy may be provided instead of or in addition to thermal energy. In some embodiments, an energy source such as a pressurized fluid is directed to a selected region, such as an edge, of bonded nitride crystal 101 to initiate a controlled cleaving action within region 103. After the application of energy, the distal portion of nitride crystal 101 is removed, leaving a proximate portion of nitride crystal 101 bonded to handle substrate 117. In some embodiments, distal portion of nitride crystal 101 remains bonded to block 112 (not shown). In some embodiments, the newly exposed surface of distal portion of nitride crystal 101 is polished, dry-etched, or chemical-mechanically polished. Care is taken to maintain the surface crystallographic orientation of the newly exposed surface of distal portion of nitride crystal 101 the same as the original orientation of surface 105. In some embodiments, an adhesion layer is deposited on the newly exposed surface of distal portion of crystal 101. In some embodiments, the adhesion layer is chemical-mechanically polished.

Referring to FIG. 1G, in some embodiments, nitride crystal 101 is separated from high quality epitaxial layer 109 and handle substrate 117 by laser irradiation. The release layer 107 may be illuminated through nitride crystal 101 by through-crystal laser radiation 125 having a wavelength at which the release layer has an optical absorption coefficient greater than 1,000 cm−1 and the nitride crystal is substantially transparent, with an optical absorption coefficient less than 50 cm−1. In another set of embodiments, the release layer is illuminated through handle substrate 117 and adhesion layer 113 by through-handle laser radiation 127 having a wavelength at which the release layer has an optical absorption coefficient greater than 1,000 cm−1 and the handle substrate is substantially transparent, with an optical absorption coefficient less than 50 cm−1. Absorption of the laser energy by the release layer 107 occurs on a very short length scale, causing considerable local heating. Such local heating causes partial or complete decomposition of the release layer and/or a thin portion of the nitride crystal in direct contact with the release layer, forming metal and N2, which may occur as a thin layer or as micro- or nano-bubbles. Such methods are disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 8,148,801. The thin layer or micro- or nano-bubbles of N2 mechanically weakens the interface between the nitride crystal and the high quality epitaxial layer, enabling facile separation of the nitride crystal from the high quality epitaxial layer, which is in turn bonded to the handle substrate. The optimal degree of weakening of the interface, without causing undesired damage to the high quality epitaxial layer or the handle substrate, is achieved by adjusting the die temperature, the laser power, the laser spot size, the laser pulse duration, and/or the number of laser pulses. The laser fluence to effect separation may be between 300 and 900 millijoules per square centimeter or between about 400 mJ/cm2 and about 750 mJ/cm2. The uniformity of the laser beam may be improved by inclusion of a beam homogenizer in the beam path, and the beam size may be about 4 mm by 4 mm. In some embodiments, the laser beam is scanned or rastered across the release layer rather than being held stationary. Separation may be performed at a temperature above the melting point of the metal produced by decomposition, e.g., above about 30 degrees Celsius in the case of gallium metal.

In some embodiments, multiple release layers and high quality epitaxial layers are present in the wafer-bonded stack. In this case laser illumination is preferably applied through the handle substrate, and the fluence controlled so that substantial decomposition takes place only within the release layer closest to the handle substrate and the remaining release layers and high quality epitaxial layers remain bonded to the nitride crystal after liftoff.

After separation of the high quality epitaxial layer from the nitride crystal, any residual gallium, indium, or other metal or nitride on the newly exposed back surface of the high quality epitaxial layer, on nitride crystal 101, or on another newly-exposed high quality epitaxial layer still bonded to nitride crystal 101 may be removed by treatment with at least one of hydrogen peroxide, an alkali hydroxide, tetramethylammonium hydroxide, an ammonium salt of a rare-earth nitrate, perchloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, acetic acid, hydrochloric acid, and hydrofluoric acid. The surfaces may be further cleaned or damage removed by dry-etching in at least one of Ar, Cl2, and BCl3, by techniques such as chemically-assisted ion beam etching (CAIBE), inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etching, or reactive ion etching (RIE). The surfaces may be further treated by chemical mechanical polishing.

In some embodiments, traces of the release layer may remain after laser liftoff or etching from the edges of the release layer. Residual release layer material may be removed by photoelectrochemical etching, illuminating the back side of the high quality epitaxial layer or the front side of nitride crystal 101 or of the front side of the outermost high quality epitaxial layer still bonded to nitride crystal 101 with radiation at a wavelength at which the release layer has an optical absorption coefficient greater than 1,000 cm−1 and the high quality epitaxial layer is substantially transparent, with an optical absorption coefficient less than 50 cm−1.

Referring to FIG. 1H, in another set of embodiments, the high quality epitaxial layer bonded to the handle substrate is separated from the nitride crystal by means of chemical etching of the release layer. FIG. 1H shows nitride crystal 101 having alternate release layers 107 and high quality epitaxial layers 109 bonded to adhesion layer 113 overlying handle substrate 117. Nitride crystal 101 and one or more of release layers 107 and/or high quality epitaxial layers 109 can be removed from a high quality epitaxial layer 109 bonded to adhesion layer 113 overlying handle substrate 117. In one embodiment, one or more edges of the release layer is treated with at least one of 1,2-diaminoethane, hydrogen peroxide, an alkali hydroxide, tetramethylammonium hydroxide, an ammonium salt of a rare-earth nitrate, perchloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, acetic acid, hydrochloric acid, and hydrofluoric acid. In one specific embodiment, the edge of the release layer is etched by treatment in a mixture of 200 milliliters of deionized water, 50 grams of diammonium cerium nitrate, Ce(NH4)2(NO3)6, and 13 milliliters of perchloric acid, HClO4, at approximately 70 degrees Celsius. At least one edge of the release layer is etched away, mechanically weakening the interface between the nitride base crystal and the high quality epitaxial layer and enabling facile separation of the nitride base crystal from the high quality epitaxial layer, which is in turn bonded to at least one semiconductor device layer. The right degree of weakening of the interface, without causing undesired damage to the high quality epitaxial layer or the semiconductor structure, is achieved by adjusting the temperature and time of the chemical treatment. The time required for lateral etching of the release layer may be reduced by incorporating a pre-formed set of channels in the release layer. In the case that multiple, alternating release layers and high quality epitaxial layers are bonded to nitride crystal 101, transfer may be restricted to the outermost high quality epitaxial layer by utilizing etch channels that penetrate only the outermost high quality epitaxial layer.

In still another set of embodiments, the high quality epitaxial layer bonded to the handle substrate is separated from the nitride crystal by means of photoelectrochemical (PEC) etching of the release layer. For example, an InGaN layer or InGaN/InGaN superlattice may be deposited as the release layer. An electrical contact may be placed on the nitride crystal and the release layer illuminated with above-bandgap radiation, for example, by means of a Xe lamp and a filter to remove light with energy greater than the bandgap of the high quality epitaxial layer and/or the nitride crystal.

In one set of embodiments, illustrated schematically in FIG. 1I, the laser radiation 127 is provided through the handle substrate 117 and adhesion layer 113 and the intensity adjusted so that essentially all the light is absorbed by the release layer in closest proximity to the handle substrate. At least one edge of a release layer 107 is exposed to an electrolyte, for example, a stirred, 0.004M HCl solution. The time required for lateral etching of the release layer 107 may be reduced by incorporating a pre-formed set of channels in the release layer. In the case that multiple, alternating release layers and high quality epitaxial layers 109 are bonded to nitride crystal 101, transfer may be restricted to the outermost high quality epitaxial layer even when the etch channels penetrate multiple high quality epitaxial layers by ensuring that the light is fully absorbed by only the outermost release layer. In one set of embodiments, GaN is deposited as the release layer and lattice-matched AlInN comprises the high quality epitaxial layer, and the wavelength range of the illumination is chosen so that electron-hole pairs are generated in the GaN but not in the AlInN.

In yet another set of embodiments, the high quality epitaxial layer bonded to the handle substrate is separated from the nitride crystal by means of selective oxidation followed by chemical etching of the release layer. For example, at least one release layer comprising AlxInyGa1-x-yN, where 0<x, x+y≦1, 0≦y≦1, or Al0.83In0.17N, lattice matched to GaN, may be selectively oxidized. The selective oxidation may be performed by exposing at least one edge of the Al-containing release layer to a solution comprising nitriloacetic acid (NTA) and potassium hydroxide at a pH of approximately 8 to 11 and an anodic current of approximately 20 μA/cm2, to about 0.1 kA/cm2. The oxide layer may then be removed by treatment in a nitric acid solution at approximately 100 degrees Celsius. The time required for lateral etching of the release layer may be reduced by incorporating a pre-formed set of channels in the release layer. In the case that multiple, alternating release layers and high quality epitaxial layers are bonded to nitride crystal 101, transfer may be restricted to the outermost high quality epitaxial layer by utilizing etch channels that penetrate only the outermost high quality epitaxial layer.

Referring to FIGS. 1J and 1K, the bonding process is repeated. A second nitride crystal 131 having surface 135, or the distal portion of the first nitride crystal (not shown), is bonded in close proximity to the first nitride crystal 109 or to the proximate portion of first nitride crystal. The second nitride crystal 131 may have an ion-implanted, damaged region 133 or at least one release layer 137 and at least one high quality epitaxial layer 139, similar to the first nitride crystal. The second nitride crystal or the outer most high quality epitaxial layer on the second nitride crystal has a surface 135 wherein the crystallographic orientation is essentially identical to that of surface 105 of the nitride crystals 101 or to that of surface 111 of the first high quality epitaxial layer. In some embodiments, accurate equality between the surface orientation of the first and second nitride crystals is achieved by growing each crystal to an accurately flat on-axis orientation, for example, (0 0 0 1) Ga-polar, (0 0 0 −1) N-polar, {1 0 −1 0} non-polar, or {1 0 −1 ±1} semi-polar. If the first and/or second nitride crystals are polished, dry-etched, or chemical-mechanically polished, care is taken so as not to significantly alter the surface orientation of either. In some embodiments, accurate equality between the surface orientation of the first and second nitride crystals is achieved by removing a uniform, thin proximate portion of the first nitride crystal to form the second nitride crystal. If the distal portion of the first nitride crystal, used also as the second nitride crystal, is polished, dry-etched, or chemical-mechanically polished, care is taken so as not to significantly alter the surface orientation. In other embodiments, accurate equality between the surface orientation of the first and second nitride crystals is achieved by removing a uniform, thin high quality epitaxial layer from the first nitride crystal to form the second nitride crystal. If the distal portion of the first nitride crystal, used also as the second nitride crystal, is polished, dry-etched, or chemical-mechanically polished, care is taken so as not to significantly alter the surface orientation. For example, the crystallographic orientations of first surfaces 105 or 111 and 135, respectively, of the outermost surface or high quality epitaxial layers on the first and second nitride crystals may be identical to less than 0.5 degree, less than 0.2 degree, less than 0.1 degree, less than 0.05 degree, less than 0.02 degree, or less than 0.01 degree. In still other embodiments, accurate equality between the surface orientation of the first and second nitride crystals is achieved by very careful crystallographic orientation and grinding and/or polishing, for example, using a high-precision goniometer. After bonding, a distal portion of the second nitride crystal may be removed. Gap 145 between the edges of two or more adjacent nitride crystals or proximate portions thereof may be less than 1 millimeter, less than 100 microns, less than 50 microns, less than 20 microns, less than 10 microns, less than 5 microns, less than 2 microns, or less than 1 micron. The bonding process may be repeated more than two, more than 4, more than 8, more than 16, more than 32, or more than 64 times.

The placement of the second nitride crystal is performed in such a way that the crystallographic orientations between the from the first nitride crystal and the second nitride crystal, or the high quality epitaxial layers thereupon, are very nearly identical. Referring to FIG. 2, first coordinate system 221 (x1 y1 z1) represents the crystallographic orientation of the first nitride crystal or of the proximate portion of the high quality epitaxial layer of the first nitride crystal 201, where z1 is the negative surface normal of the nominal orientation of the surface 211 of first nitride crystal 20, and x1 and y1 are vectors that are orthogonal to z1. For example, if surface 211 has a (0 0 0 1) orientation, then z1 is a unit vector along [0 0 0 −1], and x1 and y1 may be chosen to be along [1 0 −1 0] and [1 −2 1 0], respectively. If surface 211 has a (1 0 −1 0) orientation, then z1 is a unit vector along [−1 0 1 0] and x1 and y1 may be chosen to be along [1 −2 1 0] and [0 0 0 1], respectively. Similarly, second coordinate system 222 (x2 y2 z2) represents the crystallographic orientation of the second nitride crystal or of the proximate portion of the high quality epitaxial layer from the second nitride crystal 202, where z2 is the negative surface normal of the nominal orientation of surface 212 of second nitride crystal 202 and x2 and y2 are vectors that are orthogonal to z2, where the same convention is used for the crystallographic directions corresponding to (x2 y2 z2) as for (x1 y1 z1). The crystallographic misorientation between the surface of first nitride crystal and the surface of second nitride crystal may be specified by the three angles α, β, and γ, where α is the angle between x1 and x2, 13 is the angle between y1 and y2, and γ is the angle between z1 and z2. Because the surface orientations of the first and second nitride crystals are nearly identical, the polar misorientation angle γ is very small, for example, less than 0.5 degree, less than 0.2 degree, less than 0.1 degree, less than 0.05 degree, less than 0.02 degree, or less than 0.01 degree. Because of the precise control in the orientation of the nitride crystal during placement, the misorientation angles α and β are also very small, for example, less than 1 degree, less than 0.5 degree, less than 0.2 degree, less than 0.1 degree, less than 0.05 degree, less than 0.02 degree, or less than 0.01 degree. Typically, γ will be less than or equal to α and β. The crystallographic misorientation between additional, adjacent nitride crystals is similarly very small. However, the crystallographic misorientation angles α, β, and γ may be detectable by x-ray measurements and may be greater than about 0.005 degree, greater than about 0.02 degree, greater than about 0.05 degree, greater than about 0.1 degree, greater than 0.3 degree, or greater than 0.5 degree.

Referring to FIGS. 3A-3D, after placing and bonding a number of similarly-sized and similarly-shaped crystals, portions thereof, or high quality epitaxial layers from one or more nitride crystals, a tiled arrangement of high quality epitaxial layers may be formed, with each adjacent pair on the handle substrate being accurately aligned crystallographically with its neighbor(s). The tiling pattern may be, for example, (a) square (FIG. 3A), (b) rectangular (FIG. 3B), (c) hexagonal (FIG. 3C), (d) rhombal (FIG. 3D), or (e) irregular (not shown). Other arrangements are also possible. The gaps between the edges of two or more adjacent high quality epitaxial layers may be less than 5 millimeters, less than 1 millimeter, less than 100 microns, less than 50 microns, less than 20 microns, less than 10 microns, less than 5 microns, less than 2 microns, or less than 1 micron. The crystals may have a first lateral dimension 380 and a second lateral dimension 390, the lateral dimensions defining a plane that is perpendicular to the thickness, where each of the first lateral dimension and the second lateral dimension may be at least about 0.5 millimeter, 1 millimeter, 2 millimeters, 4 millimeters, 5 millimeters, 10 millimeters, 15 millimeters, 20 millimeters, 25 millimeters, 35 millimeters, 50 millimeters, 75 millimeters, 100 millimeters, 150 millimeters, or can be at least about 200 millimeters.

In some embodiments, a similar set of nitride crystals or high quality epitaxial layers is wafer-bonded to the back surface of the handle substrate by an analogous procedure to that used to form the tile pattern of nitride crystals or high quality epitaxial layers on the front surface of the handle substrate. In a particular embodiment, the tile pattern on the back surface of the handle substrate is a mirror image of the tile pattern on the front surface of the handle substrate, with the front and back tile patterns in registry.

In one set of embodiments, the at least two nitride crystals or high quality epitaxial layers on the handle substrate are used as a substrate for fabrication of one or more devices.

The two or more tiled high quality epitaxial layers or crystals bonded to the handle substrate may be prepared for lateral growth for epitaxial growth and/or for fusion of the tiled crystals into a single larger crystal. The lateral crystal growth may be achieved by techniques such as molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE), ammonothermal crystal growth, or crystal growth from a flux.

In some embodiments, the handle substrate is suitable for exposure to the epitaxial growth environment without further treatment. In some embodiments, a thermal treatment may be applied to increase the melting point of at least a portion of the adhesion layer(s). In some embodiments, growth may proceed more smoothly, with fewer stresses, if the gaps between adjacent nitride crystals are undercut. Referring to FIG. 4A, a photoresist 447 may be spun onto the bonded, tiled substrate comprising handle substrate 117, first nitride crystal 201, and second nitride crystal 202. Photoresist 447 may be exposed through a mask, etched, and an exposed channel 410 etched by dry etching, and the photoresist removed to form patterned nitride/handle substrate 450. In another embodiment, the gaps between the adjacent nitride crystals may be undercut or increased in depth by fast ion-beam etching, wire-sawing, sawing, or dicing. Referring to FIG. 4B, patterned nitride/handle substrate 450 may be used as a substrate for epitaxial nitride growth by MBE, MOCVD, HVPE, ammonothermal growth, or flux growth. FIG. 4B shows patterned nitride/handle substrate 450 comprising a first nitride crystal 201 and second nitride crystal 202 separated by channel 410 overlying adhesion layer 113 and handle substrate 117. Growth is performed as known in the art, and the at least two nitride crystals 201 and 202 grow both laterally and vertically to form a merged nitride crystal 455. Horizontal growth causes nitride crystal 201 and nitride crystal 202 to grow toward each other and separated by gap 412 over channel 410. Because of the very low crystallographic misorientation between nitride crystals 201 and 202, the coalescence front 457 may have a modest concentration of dislocations but a classical low angle grain boundary or tilt boundary may be difficult to detect. Threading dislocations, for example, edge dislocations, may be present at coalescence fronts 457, for example, with a line density that is less than about 1×105 cm−1, less than about 3×104 cm−1, less than about 1×104 cm−1, less than about 3×103 cm−1, less than about 1×103 cm−1, less than about 3×102 cm−1, or less than about 1×102 cm−1. The density of dislocations along the coalescence fronts may be greater than 5 cm−1, greater than 10 cm−1, greater than 20 cm−1, greater than 50 cm−1, greater than 100 cm−1, greater than 200 cm−1, or greater than 500 cm−1.

In some embodiments, the handle substrate and/or the adhesion layer may not be suitable for exposure to the epitaxial growth environment without further treatment. Exposed portions of the handle substrate may be coated with a suitable inert material. Referring to FIG. 5, first nitride crystal 201 and second nitride crystal 202 may be masked, for example, by a shadow mask or by photolithography with a photoresist, and the regions between the masked areas on the handle substrate 117 and/or adhesion layer 113 coated with inert coating 561. Inert coating 561 may comprise at least one of Ag, Au, Pt, Pd, Rh, Ru, Ir, Ni, Cr, V, Ti, Ta, SiO2, SiNx, or AlN. Inert coating 561 may further comprise an adhesion layer (not shown) in contact with the surface of handle substrate 117 and/or adhesion layer 113 comprising, for example, at least one of Ti, V, Cr, Al, Ni, B, Si, P, Zn, Ga, Si, Ge, Au, Ag, Zn, Cd, In, Sn, Sb, Tl, Ta, W, In, Cu, or Pb, or an oxide, nitride, or oxynitride thereof. Inert coating 561 may be deposited by sputtering, thermal evaporation, electron beam evaporation, chemical vapor deposition, plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition, electroplating, or the like. Masked nitride/handle substrate 550 may be used as a substrate for epitaxial nitride growth by MBE, MOCVD, HVPE, ammonothermal growth, or flux growth. Flux growth may be performed, for example, using liquid Ga under a nitrogen pressure of 1 −3 GPa, using an alloy comprising Ga and at least one alkali metal under a pressure of a nitrogen-containing gas at a pressure of 10 MPa to 200 MPa, or using one or more halide, nitride, or amide salts under a pressure of a nitrogen-containing gas at a pressure of 0.1 MPa to 200 MPa. Growth is performed as known in the art, and the at least two nitride crystals 201 and 202 grow both laterally and vertically to form a merged nitride crystal 455. Because of the very low crystallographic misorientation between nitride crystals 201 and 202, the coalescence front 457 may have a modest concentration of dislocations but a classical low angle grain boundary or tilt boundary may be difficult to detect.

The etching/patterning and masking steps may be combined. Referring to FIG. 6, patterned nitride/handle substrate 650 having first nitride crystal 201 and second nitride crystal 202 with an etched gap 601 between them may be masked, for example, by a shadow mask or by photolithography with a photoresist, and the regions between the masked areas on handle substrate 117 and/or adhesion layer 113 coated with inert coating 561. Masked/patterned/etched nitride/handle substrate 670 may be used as a substrate for epitaxial nitride growth by MBE, MOCVD, HVPE, ammonothermal growth, or flux growth. Growth is performed as known in the art, and the at least two nitride crystals 201 and 202 grow both laterally and vertically to form a merged nitride crystal 455. Because of the very low crystallographic misorientation between nitride crystals 201 and 202, the coalescence front 457 may have a modest concentration of dislocations but a classical low angle grain boundary or tilt boundary may be difficult to detect. Threading dislocations, for example, edge dislocations, may be present at coalescence fronts 457, for example, with a line density that is less than about 1×105 cm−1, less than about 3×104 cm−1, less than about 1×104 cm−1, less than about 3×103 cm−1, less than about 1×103 cm−1, less than about 3×102 cm−1, or less than about 1×102 cm−1. The density of dislocations along the coalescence fronts may be greater than 5 cm−1, greater than 10 cm−1, greater than 20 cm−1, greater than 50 cm−1, greater than 100 cm−1, greater than 200 cm−1, or greater than 500 cm−1.

The merged nitride crystal may be grown to a thickness greater than 5 microns, greater than 50 microns, greater than 0.5 millimeters, or greater than 5 millimeters. After cooling and removal from the reactor, the merged nitride crystal may be separated from the handle substrate. The inert coating, if present, may be removed from at least a portion of the edge of the handle substrate by scribing, abrasion, etching, or the like. The handle substrate may be dissolved or etched away, for example, by placing in contact with an acid, a base, or a molten flux, preferably in a way that produces negligible etching or other damage to the merged nitride crystal. For example, a glass, silicon, or germanium substrate may be etched away without damaging the merged nitride crystal by treatment in a solution comprising HF and/or H2SiF6. Alternatively, a glass or zinc oxide substrate may be etched away without damaging the merged nitride crystal by treatment in a solution comprising NaOH, KOH, or NH4OH. A gallium arsenide or zinc oxide substrate may be etched away without damaging the merged nitride crystal by treatment in a solution comprising aqua regia or one or more of HCl, HNO3, HF, H2SO4, and H3PO4. A sapphire or alumina substrate may be etched away without damaging the merged nitride crystal by treatment in molten KBF4. After removal of the handle substrate, one or more surface of the merged nitride crystal may be lapped, polished, and/or chemical-mechanically polished. The merged nitride crystal may be sliced (sawed, polished, and/or chemical-mechanically polished) into one or more wafers.

Referring to FIGS. 7A-7D, the merged nitride crystal comprises two or more domains separated by one or more lines of dislocations. Depending on the geometry of the original nitride crystals, the pattern of domains may be, for example, (a) square (FIG. 7A), (b) rectangular (FIG. 7B), (c) hexagonal (FIG. 7C), (d) rhombal (FIG. 7D), or (e) irregular (not shown). Other patterns are also possible. The domains may have a first lateral dimension 380 and a second lateral dimension 390, the lateral dimensions defining a plane that is perpendicular to the thickness, where each of the first lateral dimension 380 and the second lateral dimension 390 may be at least about 0.5 millimeter, 1 millimeter, 2 millimeters, 4 millimeters, 5 millimeters, 10 millimeters, 15 millimeters, 20 millimeters, 25 millimeters, 35 millimeters, 50 millimeters, 75 millimeters, 100 millimeters, 150 millimeters, or at least about 200 millimeters. The polar misorientation angle γ between adjacent domains may be less than 0.5 degree, less than 0.2 degree, less than 0.1 degree, less than 0.05 degree, less than 0.02 degree, or less than 0.01 degree. The misorientation angles α and β between adjacent domains may be less than 1 degree, less than 0.5 degree, less than 0.2 degree, less than 0.1 degree, less than 0.05 degree, less than 0.02 degree, or less than 0.01 degree. Typically, γ will be less than or equal to α and β. The crystallographic misorientation angles α, β, and γ may be greater than about 0.01 degree, greater than about 0.02 degree, greater than about 0.05 degree, or greater than about 0.1 degree. The density of dislocations along the lines between adjacent domains may be less than about 5×105 cm−1, less than about 2×105 cm−1, less than about 1×105 cm−1, less than about 5×104 cm−1, less than about 2×104 cm−1, less than about 1×103 cm−1, less than about 5×103 cm−1, less than about 2×103 cm−1, or less than about 1×103 cm−1. The density of dislocations along the lines between adjacent domains may be greater than 50 cm−1, greater than 100 cm−1, greater than 200 cm−1, greater than 500 cm−1, greater than 1,000 cm−1, greater than 2000 cm−1, or greater than 5000 cm−1.

Within individual domains, the merged nitride crystal may have a surface dislocation density less than about 107 cm−2, less than about 106 cm−2, less than about 105 cm2, less than about 104 cm−2, less than about 103 cm−2, or less than about 102 cm2. The domains may have a stacking-fault concentration below 103 cm−1, below 102 cm−1, below 10 cm−1 or below 1 cm−1. The merged nitride crystal may have a symmetric x-ray rocking curve full width at half maximum (FWHM) less than about 300 arc sec, less than about 200 arc sec, less than about 100 arc sec, less than about 50 arc sec, less than about 35 arc sec, less than about 25 arc sec, or less than about 15 arc sec. The merged nitride crystal may have a thickness between about 100 microns and about 100 millimeters, or between about 1 millimeter and about 10 millimeters. The merged nitride crystal may have a diameter of at least about 5 millimeters, at least about 10 millimeters, at least about 15 millimeters, at least about 20 millimeters, at least about 25 millimeters, at least about 35 millimeters, at least about 50 millimeters, at least about 75 millimeters, at least about 100 millimeters, at least about 150 millimeters, at least about 200 millimeters, or at least about 400 millimeters. The surface of the merged nitride crystal may have a crystallographic orientation within 10 degrees, within 5 degrees, within 2 degrees, within 1 degree, within 0.5 degree, within 0.2 degree, within 0.1 degree, within 0.05 degree, within 0.02 degree, or within 0.01 degree of (0 0 0 1) Ga-polar, (0 0 0 −1) N-polar, {1 0 −1 0} non-polar, or {1 1 −2 0} non-polar a-plane. The surface of the merged nitride crystal may have a (h k i l) semi-polar orientation, where i=−(h+k) and/and at least one of h and k are nonzero. In a specific embodiment, the crystallographic orientation of the merged nitride crystal is within 10 degrees, within 5 degrees, within 2 degrees, within 1 degree, within 0.5 degree, within 0.2 degree, within 0.1 degree, within 0.05 degree, within 0.02 degree, or within 0.01 degree of {1 1 −2 ±2}, {6 0 −6 ±1}, {5 0 −5 ±1}, {40 −4 ±1}, {3 0 −3 ±1}, {5 0 −5 ±2}, {7 0 −7 ±3}, {2 0 −2 ±1}, {3 0 −3 ±2}, {4 0 −4 ±3}, {5 0 −5 ±4}, {1 0 −1 ±1}, {1 0 −1 ±2}, {1 0 −1 ±3}, {2 1 −3 ±1}, or {3 0 −3 ±4}. The merged nitride crystal has a minimum lateral dimension of at least four millimeters. In some embodiments, the merged nitride crystal has a minimum lateral dimension of at least one centimeter, at least two centimeters, at least three centimeters, at least four centimeters, at least five centimeters, at least six centimeters, at least eight centimeters, at least ten centimeters, or at least twenty centimeters.

In some embodiments, the merged nitride crystal is used as a substrate for epitaxy, forming a semiconductor structure. The merged nitride crystal may be sawed, lapped, polished, dry etched, and/or chemical-mechanically polished by methods that are known in the art. One or more edges of the merged nitride crystal may be ground. The merged nitride crystal, or a wafer formed therefrom, may be placed in a suitable reactor and an epitaxial layer grown by MOCVD, MBE, HVPE, or the like. In a particular embodiment, the epitaxial layer comprises GaN or AlxInyGa(1-x-y)N, where 0≦x, y≦1. The morphology of the epitaxial layer is uniform from one domain to another over the surface because the surface orientation is almost identical.

In some embodiments, the merged nitride crystal is used as a substrate for further tiling. For example, referring to FIGS. 1A through 1K, the nitride crystal 101 may be chosen to be a merged nitride crystal. The tiling, coalescence, and re-tiling operation may be iterated more than twice, more than 4 times, more than 8 times, or more than 16 times. In this way, by successive tiling operations, a merged nitride crystal with excellent crystalline quality and very large diameter may be fabricated.

The merged nitride crystal, or a wafer that has been sliced and polished from the merged nitride crystal or from a boule obtained by bulk crystal growth using the merged nitride crystal as a seed, may be used as a substrate for fabrication into optoelectronic and electronic devices such as at least one of a light emitting diode, a laser diode, a photodetector, an avalanche photodiode, a transistor, a rectifier, a Schottky rectifier, a thyristor, a p-i-n diode, a metal-semiconductor-metal diode, high-electron mobility transistor, a metal semiconductor field effect transistor, a metal oxide field effect transistor, a power metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor, a power metal insulator semiconductor field effect transistor, a bipolar junction transistor, a metal insulator field effect transistor, a heterojunction bipolar transistor, a power insulated gate bipolar transistor, a power vertical junction field effect transistor, a cascode switch, an inner sub-band emitter, a quantum well infrared photodetector, a quantum dot infrared photodetector, a solar cell, or a diode for photoelectrochemical water splitting and hydrogen generation device. In some embodiments, the positions of the devices with respect to the domain structure in the merged nitride crystal are chosen so that the active regions of individual devices lie within a single domain of the merged nitride crystal.

In other embodiments, the merged nitride crystal, or a wafer sliced and polished from the merged nitride crystal, is used as a seed crystal for bulk crystal growth. In one specific embodiment, the tiled crystal, or a wafer sliced and polished from the merged nitride crystal, is used as a seed crystal for ammonothermal crystal growth. In another embodiment, the tiled crystal, or a wafer sliced and polished from the merged nitride crystal, is used as a seed crystal for HVPE crystal growth.

In still other embodiments, the at least two nitride crystals or high quality epitaxial layers on the handle substrate, non-merged, are used as a substrate for fabrication into optoelectronic and electronic devices such as at least one of a light emitting diode, a laser diode, a photodetector, an avalanche photodiode, a transistor, a rectifier, a Schottky rectifier, a thyristor, a p-i-n diode, a metal-semiconductor-metal diode, high-electron mobility transistor, a metal semiconductor field effect transistor, a metal oxide field effect transistor, a power metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor, a power metal insulator semiconductor field effect transistor, a bipolar junction transistor, a metal insulator field effect transistor, a heterojunction bipolar transistor, a power insulated gate bipolar transistor, a power vertical junction field effect transistor, a cascode switch, an inner sub-band emitter, a quantum well infrared photodetector, a quantum dot infrared photodetector, a solar cell, and a diode for photoelectrochemical water splitting and hydrogen generation device. The at least one device may flip-chip mounted onto a carrier and the handle substrate removed.

FIG. 11 is a flow chart depicting a method of making large area crystals. FIG. 11 shows a method 1100 for growth of a large-area crystal, the method comprising: providing at least two crystals having a dislocation density below about 107 cm−2 (see step 1110); providing a handle substrate (see step 1120); performing bonding of the at least two crystals to the handle substrate (see step 1130); and growing the at least two crystals to cause a coalescence into a merged crystal comprising a first domain and a second domain (see step 1140); wherein a polar misorientation angle γ between the first domain and the second domain is greater than about 0.005 degree and less than about 0.5 degree and the misorientation angles α and β between the first domain and the second domain are greater than about 0.01 degree and less than about 1 degree (also see step 1140).

Still further embodiments support method of making and method of use. Any of the embodiments below can be practiced in a variety of variations.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the at least two crystals have a hexagonal crystal structure.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the at least two crystals have a cubic crystal structure.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the at least two crystals having a cubic crystal structure are selected from BN, BP, BAs, AlP, AlAs, AlSb, β-SiC, GaP, GaAs, GaSb, InP, InAs, ZnS, ZnSe, CdS, CdSe, CdTe, CdZeTe, and HgCdTe.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the at least two crystals having a cubic crystal structure are selected from among ZnO, ZnS, AgI, CdS, CdSe, 2H—SiC, 4H—SiC, and 6H—SiC.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the at least two crystals comprise regions having a concentration of threading dislocations higher than about 106 cm−2 separated by at least one region characterized by a concentration of threading dislocations lower than about 106 cm2.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the at least two nitride crystals having a hexagonal crystal structure comprise AlxInyGa(1-x-y)N, where 0≦x, y, x+y≦1.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the at least two crystals are characterized by a threading dislocation density below about 106 cm−2.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the at least two crystals are characterized by a threading dislocation density below about 104 cm−2.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, at least one of the two crystals has an ion-implanted/damaged region.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the surfaces of the at least two crystals being bonded to the handle substrate have a crystallographic orientation within about 10 degrees of (0 0 0 1), (0 0 0 −1), {1 0 −1 0}, {2 0 −2 ±1}, {1 1 −2 ±2}, {6 0 −6 ±1}, {5 0 −5 ±1}, {40 −4 ±1}, {3 0 −3 ±1}, {5 0 −5 ±2}, {7 0 −7 ±3}, {2 0 −2 ±1}, {3 0 −3 ±2}, {4 0 −4 ±3}, {5 0 −5 ±4}, {1 0 −1 ±1}, {1 0 −1 ±2}, {1 0 −1 ±3}, {2 1 −3 ±1}, or {3 0 −3 ±4}.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the large-area crystal has a region with a threading dislocation density below about 106 cm−2.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, each of the first crystal, the second crystal, the first domain, and the second domain have a minimum lateral dimension of at least two millimeters.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the first crystal is derived from and detached from an ion-implanted crystal and the second crystal is derived from and detached from the same crystal.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the first crystal is derived from a first epitaxial layer on a third crystal and the second crystal is derived from a second epitaxial layer on the third crystal.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the bonding of the at least two crystals to the handle substrate is performed using a wafer-bonding tool.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the bonding of the at least two crystals to the handle substrate is performed using a pick-and-place tool.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the method further comprises applying a thermal treatment to increase the melting point of an adhesion layer provided between the at least two crystals and the handle substrate.

In certain embodiments of the method of FIG. 11, the method further comprises forming a semiconductor structure on the merged crystal, or a wafer that has been sliced and polished from the merged crystal or from a boule obtained by bulk crystal growth using the merged crystal as a seed.

In certain embodiments of forming a semiconductor on the merged crystal, the semiconductor structure is incorporated into an optoelectronic or electronic device, the optoelectronic or electronic device comprising at least one of wafer sliced and polished from the merged crystal or from a boule obtained by bulk crystal growth using the merged crystal as a seed.

In certain embodiments, the positions of the devices with respect to the domain structure in the merged crystal are chosen so that the active regions of individual devices lie within a single domain of the merged crystal.

EXAMPLES

Embodiments provided by the present disclosure are further illustrated by reference to the following examples. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many modifications, both to materials, and methods, may be practiced without departing from the scope of the disclosure.

Example 1

A template was prepared using four HVPE-grown bulk GaN crystals wafer-bonded to a handle substrate, also comprising HVPE-grown bulk GaN. The nitride crystals exhibited a crystallographic orientation within 1 degree of the (0 0 0 1) +c-plane (Ga face). The adjoining surfaces of the nitride crystals and the handle substrate were each coated with a 200 Ångstrom Ti layer followed by a 1.5 micron Au layer and wafer-bonded at a pressure of 5.4 MPa and a temperature of 450° C. under vacuum. The gaps between adjacent bonded nitride crystals were approximately 85 microns. The misorientation angles α, β, and γ between the adjacent bonded nitride crystals were all less than 0.1 degrees. The template was degreased, suspended by a silver wire, and placed in a silver capsule with a baffle. Approximately 37.3 g of polycrystalline GaN, 1.27 g of NH4F mineralizer, and 30.4 g of ammonia were also placed in the capsule and the capsule was hermetically sealed. The capsule was placed in an internally-heated high pressure apparatus, heated to a temperature of approximately 675° C. for approximately 68 hours, then cooled, removed, and opened. The gap between the two nitride crystals was closed by newly-grown GaN, causing full coalescence of the crystals. The coalesced nitride crystal was removed from the handle substrate by dissolution of the Ti—Au adhesion layers by soaking in concentrated aqua regia solution. The linear etch pit densities at the coalescence fronts were measured as approximately 1.2×103 cm−1, indicating high-quality boundaries.

Example 2

A template was prepared using two HVPE-grown bulk GaN crystals bonded to a handle substrate, also comprising HVPE-grown bulk GaN. The nitride crystals exhibited a crystallographic orientation within 1 degree of the (0 0 0 1) +c-plane (Ga face). The adjoining surfaces of the handle substrate and the nitride crystals were coated with a 200 Ångstrom Ti layer followed by a 1.0 micron Au layer. The nitride crystals further had an array of 300 micron diameter Si dots having a height of 0.6 microns, the dots being located at the vertices of a square grid having a period of 1,000 microns in both the x- and y-directions. The handle substrate was then placed on a heated stage at 475° C. and a pick and place tool was used to precisely position the two nitride crystals on the handle substrate. The adjoining surfaces of the nitride crystals and the handle substrate, while precisely aligned, were placed in contact for approximately 30 seconds and a bond was formed. The misorientation angles α and β between the adjacent bonded nitride crystals were less than 0.3 degrees and the misorientation angle γ between the adjacent bonded nitride crystals was less than 0.1 degree. The bonded template was subsequently heated to 275° C. in a nitrogen atmosphere and held for 24 hours. The template was degreased, suspended by a silver wire, and placed in a silver capsule with a baffle. Approximately 43.5 g of polycrystalline GaN, 1.28 g of NH4F mineralizer, and 30.6 g of ammonia were also placed in the capsule and the capsule was hermetically sealed. The capsule was placed in an internally-heated high pressure apparatus, heated to a temperature of approximately 680° C. for approximately 20 hours, then cooled, removed, and opened. The gap between the two nitride crystals was closed by newly-grown GaN, causing full coalescence of the crystals. No pits were identified at the coalescence front by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), indicating a high-quality boundary.

Example 3

A template was prepared using three HVPE-grown bulk GaN crystals bonded to a handle substrate, also comprising HVPE-grown bulk GaN. The nitride crystals exhibited a crystallographic orientation that was miscut from the {1 0 −1 0} m-plane by approximately 0.25 degree toward [0 0 0 −1]. The adjoining surfaces of the handle substrate and the nitride crystals were coated with a 200 Ångstrom Ti layer followed by approximately a 20 micron thick Au layer and 3 micron thick AuSn layer on the handle substrate and the nitride crystals, respectively. The handle substrate was then placed on a heated stage at 330° C. and a pick and place tool was used to precisely position the three nitride crystals on the handle substrate. The adjoining surfaces of the nitride crystals and the handle substrate, while precisely aligned, were placed in contact for approximately 30 seconds and a bond was formed. The template was degreased and placed in a silver capsule with a baffle. Approximately 4,815 g of polycrystalline GaN, 172 g of NH4F mineralizer, and 3,608 g of ammonia were also placed in the capsule and the capsule was hermetically sealed. The capsule was placed in an internally-heated high pressure apparatus, heated to a temperature of approximately 680° C. for approximately 100 hours, then cooled, removed, and opened. The gap between the three nitride crystals was closed by newly-grown GaN, causing full coalescence of the crystals. The three nitride crystals were subsequently removed from the handle substrate as one distinct piece. The misorientation angles α and β between the adjacent bonded nitride crystals were between about 0.02 degree and about 0.45 degrees and the misorientation angles γ between the adjacent bonded nitride crystals were about 0.09 degree and about 0.11 degree, respectively. The linear etch pit densities at the coalescence fronts were measured as approximately 6.08×103 cm−1 and 5.84×103 cm−1 for the two coalescence boundaries, indicating high-quality boundaries.

Example 4

A template was prepared using three HVPE-grown bulk GaN crystals bonded to a handle substrate comprising polycrystalline AlN. The nitride crystals exhibited a crystallographic orientation within about 0.5 degree of {1 0 −1 −1}. The adjoining surfaces of the handle substrate and the nitride crystals were coated with a 200 Ångstrom Ti layer followed by approximately a 20 micron thick Au layer and 3 micron thick AuSn layer on the handle substrate and the nitride crystals, respectively. The handle substrate was then placed on a heated stage at 330° C. and a pick and place tool was used to precisely position the three nitride crystals on the handle substrate. The adjoining surfaces of the nitride crystals and the handle substrate, while precisely aligned, were placed in contact for approximately 30 seconds and a bond was formed. The template was degreased and placed in a silver capsule with a baffle. Approximately 43.5 g of polycrystalline GaN, 2.56 g of NH4F mineralizer, and 30 g of ammonia were also placed in the capsule and the capsule was hermetically sealed. The capsule was placed in an internally-heated high pressure apparatus, heated to a temperature of approximately 655° C. for approximately 51 hours, then cooled, removed, and opened. The gap between the three nitride crystals was closed by newly-grown GaN, causing full coalescence of the crystals. The misorientation angles α and β between the adjacent pairs of bonded nitride crystals were between about 0.03 degree and about 0.26 degree and the misorientation angles γ between the adjacent bonded nitride crystals were about 0.085 degree and less than 0.01 degree, respectively.

Example 5

A template was prepared using two HVPE-grown bulk GaN crystals bonded to a handle substrate comprising AlN. The nitride crystals exhibited a crystallographic orientation that was miscut from the {1 0 −1 0} m-plane by approximately 0.25 degree toward [0 0 0 −1]. The adjoining surfaces of the handle substrate and the nitride crystals were coated with a 3,000 Ångstrom Ti layer followed by approximately a 20 micron thick Au layer and 3 micron thick AuSn layer on the handle substrate and the nitride crystals, respectively. The handle substrate was then placed on a heated stage at 330° C. and a pick and place tool was used to precisely position the two nitride crystals on the handle substrate. The adjoining surfaces of the nitride crystals and the handle substrate, while precisely aligned, were placed in contact for approximately 30 seconds and a bond was formed. The template was degreased and placed in a silver capsule with a baffle. Approximately 37.54 g of polycrystalline GaN, 2.57 g of NH4F mineralizer, and 30.08 g of ammonia were also placed in the capsule and the capsule was hermetically sealed. The capsule was placed in an internally-heated high pressure apparatus, heated to a temperature of approximately 663° C. for approximately 51 hours, then cooled, removed, and opened. The gap between the two nitride crystals was closed by newly-grown GaN, causing full coalescence of the crystals. The two nitride crystals were subsequently removed from the handle substrate as one distinct piece. The nitride crystals were then placed in a silver capsule with a baffle. Approximately 3,560 g of polycrystalline GaN, 174.1 g of NH4F mineralizer, and 2,637.88 g of ammonia were also placed in the capsule and the capsule was hermetically sealed. The capsule was placed in an internally-heated high pressure apparatus, heated to a temperature of approximately 680° C. for approximately 116 hours, then cooled, removed, and opened. The misorientation angles α and β between the adjacent bonded nitride crystals were approximately 0.03 degree and the misorientation angle γ between the adjacent bonded nitride crystals was approximately 0.04 degree. The linear etch pit densities at the coalescence front was measured as approximately 6.75×103 cm−1, indicating high-quality boundaries.

While the above is a full description of the specific embodiments, various modifications, alternative constructions and equivalents may be used. Therefore, the above description and illustrations should not be taken as limiting the scope of the present invention which is defined by the appended claims.

Claims (22)

What is claimed is:
1. A gallium-containing nitride merged crystal made from a process comprising:
depositing an adhesion layer on a surface of a handle substrate, said adhesion layer having a melting point at a first temperature;
while said adhesion layer is at a temperature of no less than said first temperature to melt said adhesion layer to enhance its adhesion, bonding at least a first crystal and a second crystal to said adhesion layer to form a tiled substrate, said first crystal having a first nominal crystallographic orientation (x1 y1 z1), and said second crystal having a second nominal crystallographic orientation (x2 y2 z2), said first nominal crystallographic orientation (x1 y1 z1) and said second nominal crystallographic orientation (x2 y2 z2) being identical; and
after said first and second crystals are adhered to said adhesion layer, heat treating said adhesion layer to form a heat-treated adhesion layer, said heat-treated adhesion layer having a melting point at a second temperature higher than said first temperature;
laterally and vertically growing a crystalline composition over said tiled substrate using ammonothermal growth at a third temperature to form a merged crystal, said third temperature being higher than said first temperature and below said second temperature, wherein said first and second crystals define first and second domains in said merged crystal.
2. The crystal of claim 1, wherein each of the first domain and the second domain comprises GaN.
3. The crystal of claim 1, wherein each of the first domain and the second domain is characterized by a dislocation density of less than 106 cm−2.
4. The crystal of claim 1, wherein each of the first domain and the second domain is characterized by a dislocation density of less than 105 cm−2.
5. The crystal of claim 1, wherein each of the first domain and the second domain is characterized by a dislocation density of less than 104 cm−2.
6. The crystal of claim 1, wherein the first domain and the second domain are separated by a line of dislocations with a linear density less than 2×105 cm−1 and the polar misorientation angle γ between the first domain and the second domain is less than 0.3 degree and the misorientation angles α and β are less than 0.6 degree.
7. The crystal of claim 1, wherein the first domain and the second domain are separated by a line of dislocations with a linear density less than 1×105 cm−1 and the polar misorientation angle γ between the first domain and the second domain is less than 0.1 degree and the misorientation angles α and β are less than 0.2 degrees.
8. The crystal of claim 7, wherein the first domain and the second domain are separated by a line of dislocations with a linear density less than 1×104 cm−1 and the polar misorientation angle γ between the first domain and the second domain is less than 0.05 degrees.
9. The crystal of claim 1, wherein each of the first domain and the second domain are characterized by a nonpolar or semipolar surface crystallographic orientation and one or both of the first domain and the second domain are characterized by a stacking-fault concentration of about 103 cm−1 or less.
10. The crystal of claim 1, wherein each of the first domain and the second domain is characterized by an impurity concentration of H greater than about 1017 cm−2 and an impurity concentration of at least one of Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs, F, and Cl greater than about 1015 cm−1.
11. The crystal of claim 1, further comprising a semiconductor structure overlying at least one of the first domain and the second domain.
12. The crystal of claim 11, wherein an active layer of the semiconductor structure lies within a single domain.
13. The crystal of claim 12, wherein the semiconductor structure forms a portion of a device selected from a light emitting diode, a laser diode, a photodetector, an avalanche photodiode, a transistor, a rectifier, a thyristor, Schottky rectifier, a p-i-n diode, a metal-semiconductor-metal diode, a high-electron mobility transistor, a metal semiconductor field effect transistor, a metal oxide field effect transistor, a power metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor, a power metal insulator semiconductor field effect transistor, a bipolar junction transistor, a metal insulator field effect transistor, a heterojunction bipolar transistor, a power insulated gate bipolar transistor, a power vertical junction field effect transistor, a cascode switch, an inner sub-band emitter, a quantum well infrared photodetector, a quantum dot infrared photodetector, and a combination of any of the foregoing.
14. The crystal of claim 1, wherein,
each of the first domain and the second domain is characterized by a crystallographic orientation within 5 degrees of a (0 0 0 1) Ga-polar plane; and
z1 and z2 are unit vectors along [0 0 0 −1], x1 and x2 are unit vectors along [1 0 −1 0], and y1 and y2 are unit vectors along [1 −2 1 0].
15. The crystal of claim 1 wherein,
each of the first domain and the second domain is characterized by a crystallographic orientation within 5 degrees of a {1 0 −1 0} non-polar plane; and
z1 and z2 are unit vectors along [−1 0 1 0], x1 and x2 are unit vectors along [1 −2 1 0], and y1 and y2 are unit vectors along [0 0 0 1].
16. The crystal of claim 1, wherein each of the first domain and the second domain is characterized by a crystallographic orientation within 5 degrees of an orientation selected from a{1 1 −2 ±2} plane, a {6 0 −6 ±1} plane, a {5 0 −5 ±1} plane, a {40 −4±1} plane, a {3 0 −3 ±1} plane, a {5 0 −5 ±2} plane, a {7 0 −7 ±3} plane, a {2 0 −2 ±1} plane, a {3 0 −3 ±2} plane, a {4 0 −4 ±3}, a {5 0 −5 ±4} plane, a {1 0−1 ±1} plane, a {1 0 −1 ±2} plane, a {1 0 −1 ±3} plane, a {2 1 −3 ±1} plane, and a {3 0 −3 ±4} plane.
17. The crystal of claim 1, wherein said first domain is characterized by a first lateral dimension and a second lateral dimension, and the second domain is characterized by a third lateral dimension and a fourth lateral dimension, wherein each of the first lateral dimension, the second lateral dimension, the third lateral dimension, and the fourth lateral dimension are greater than 10 millimeters.
18. The crystal of claim 1, wherein each of the first domain and the second domain is characterized by an impurity concentration of 0, H, C, and at least one of Na and K between about 1×1016 cm−3 and 1×1019 cm−3, between about 1×1016 cm−3 and 2×1019 cm−3, below 1×1017 cm−3, and between about 3×1015 cm−3 and 1×1018 cm−3, respectively, as quantified by calibrated secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS).
19. The crystal of claim 1, wherein each of the first domain and the second domain is characterized by an impurity concentration of O, H, C, and at least one of F and Cl between about 1×1016 cm−3 and 1×1019 cm−3, between about 1×1016 cm−3 and 2×1019 cm−3, below 1×1017 cm−3, and between about 1×1015 cm−3 and 1×1017 cm−3, respectively, as quantified by calibrated secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS).
20. The crystal of claim 1, wherein said growing comprises epitaxial growth.
21. The crystal of claim 1, wherein
z1 is a negative surface normal of the first nominal crystallographic orientation, and x1 and y1 are crystallographic vectors that are orthogonal to z1;
z2 is a negative surface normal of the second nominal crystallographic orientation, and x2 and y2 are crystallographic vectors that are orthogonal to z2;
a polar misorientation angle γ between z1 and z2 is greater than about 0.005 degrees and less than about 0.5 degrees;
a misorientation angle α between x1 and x2 is greater than about 0.01 degrees and less than about 1 degree; and
a misorientation angle β between y1 and y2 is greater than about 0.01 degrees and less than about 1 degree.
22. The crystal of claim 1, wherein said first temperature is no greater than about 500° C., said second temperature is no less than about 700° C., and said third temperature is no less than 600° C.
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